Charlie Villanueva kept hanging around this season to get his chance to prove his money’s worth for the Detroit Pistons. Lately, he’s been getting that chance and is making the most of it.
In his fourth year as a high-priced free agent for the Pistons, Villanueva is putting in some quality minutes. The Pistons pulled off a 119-109 NBA win over the San Antonio Spurs Friday, and Villanueva played no small role in the upset.
“Charlie hit some big shots for us, man, he caught fire tonight,” said Pistons center Greg Monroe, who had a big night himself with 26 points and 16 rebounds. “Anytime he catches fire, any team is in trouble and it definitely is good for us.”
Villanueva saw 33 minutes, a rarity for him. He deserved that time from coach Lawrence Frank with 7-of-15 shooting from the floor, and 5-of-9 from the 3-point area. Earlier in the season, Villanueva was the forgotten man as the Pistons didn’t play him much. Gradually, Frank got him the lineup.
His 41 percent from the floor in shooting isn’t setting the world on fire, but it still makes him worth keeping around the arena.
His stats are rather impressive, considering he’s averaging 16.3 minutes per game in 41 appearances, all from off the bench. He’s at 7.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, not bad considering the limited amount of time he’s had.
What the Pistons are looking for is someone to come off the bench and give guys like Monroe and Jason Maxiell needed rest, and not lose any quality play. Villanueva continues to do the job in that respect.